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March 11th, 2009
03:00 PM ET

The two sides of Tijuana

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/americas/03/07/mexico.headless.bodies/art.tijuana.afp.gi.jpg caption="Mexican authorities discovered three headless bodies in Tijuana last week."]

Nick Valencia
CNN Producer

When current Mexican President Felipe Calderon came into office in December 2006, he publicly declared a war on the drug cartels. Parts of the country have since spiraled into chaos.

In an attempt by the cartels to show their strength, a brutal campaign was carried out throughout the country, especially in places like Juarez, Sinaloa, Michoacán and Tijuana. Finding dead bodies in these cities soon became commonplace. The violence has become so gruesome that now Tijuana clinics are closing earlier on a regular basis, with more and more doctors shunning late-night medical care as too risky.

FULL POST

March 11th, 2009
12:23 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Repeat on Wall Street?

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Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Stocks on Wall Street opened modestly higher today, extending yesterday’s massive rally. But will we see the first back-to-back gains in more than a month?

On Tuesday, stocks surged after a Citigroup memo said the battered bank was profitable in January and February, and amid talk that the government may reinstate a restriction on short-selling - a Depression-era rule aimed at preventing a massive plunge in a stock price caused by a wave of selling.

The Dow rallied 379 points - the biggest gain of 2009 - one day after finishing at a 12-year low.

An update today on what many consider to be the single-most important effort underway to heal the financial sector.

The Obama Administration will soon unveil details of its plan for dealing with the toxic assets that lie at the heart of the financial crisis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday.

FULL POST


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Gasoline Theft • Oil • Unemployment • Wall St.
March 11th, 2009
11:09 AM ET

New envoy to oversee the closing of Gitmo

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Suzanne Malveaux, White House Correspondent
Elise Labott, CNN State Department Producer

Two senior administration officials confirm that Daniel Fried will be named a special envoy to oversee the closing of Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Fried is currently assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs. The new job is intended to underscore the Administration’s seriousness in shutting down the facility. Fried is a veteran diplomat who worked under former President George W. Bush. His main job will be to negotiate transferring Guantanamo detainees to third countries, mainly in Europe.


Filed under: Elise Labott • Guantanomo Bay • Suzanne Malveaux
March 11th, 2009
11:00 AM ET

Stephen Hawking – the Universe and President Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/11/art.hawking.front.jpg caption="Professor Stephen Hawking in Pasadena, CA. Hawking gave a lecture entitled, "Why We Should Go Into Space."]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/11/art.hawking.back.chair.jpg caption="The back of Stephen Hawking's wheelchair."]

Carey Bodenheimer
CNN LA Producer

I had the good fortune to attend a lecture by the famous and ground-breaking science professor Stephen Hawking last night in Pasadena called “Why We Should Go Into Space.” Speaking from his high-tech wheelchair, he delivered a convincing argument for why space exploration should continue even in toughest economic times – using everything from hard statistics on NASA’s flat budget - just 0.12% of the federal budget - to a vintage Calvin and Hobbes cartoon about intelligent life in the universe.

It was an engaging look at man's place in the cosmos and how much more there is to know about our universe. Yet as I grappled with black holes, interstellar exploration and the search for life in the universe, I kept drifting away back to events of the day, and the terrestrial pursuit of politics. Earlier on Monday, President Obama signed an executive order lifting the Bush administration’s restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • NASA • Space
March 11th, 2009
10:54 AM ET

Obama, Dems wrong on school vouchers

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Roland S. Martin
CNN Contributor

When President Obama signs the $410 billion omnibus spending bill, there will be shouts of joy from both sides as Republicans and Democrats get their cherished earmarks.

Yet tucked into that bill is an amendment pushed by the president's former colleague in the Senate, Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, who used his influence to essentially kill the District of Columbia school vouchers program.

Oh sure, it will be portrayed that the Democrats aren't killing the program, but the initiative calls for no new students to be allowed entry, unless approved by Congress and the District of Columbia City Council.

Keep Reading...

March 11th, 2009
10:37 AM ET

Dear President Obama #51: Dispatch – under fire on the road to recovery

Reporter's Note: President Obama has enough problems without getting millions of letters from people offering advice. On the other hand, he asked for help.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I report to you, sir, from the front lines of the battle for economic recovery. To be specific, from a road just north of Washington, D.C.; where on this very day, I spent time with people who did not have jobs, but now do as a result of the stimulus package. No kidding.

You may have noticed in my letters, a touch of skepticism from time to time about almost any program launched by the government. It’s not that I think all politicians are greedy, or small-minded, or do not have the interests of the people at heart. Truth be told, most of the politicians I’ve met are like most people. Some are good. Some are bad. And some spend far too much time ogling the interns and plotting to take your job one day.

But put a bunch of people together in a committee room, give them a bucket of money to spend that is not theirs, and I must say the results are often disappointing. Especially if it was your money to begin with.

FULL POST

March 11th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Pres. Obama's plan hits blue states hardest

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/26/budget.departments/art.budgetbook.gi.jpg caption="Copies of the Obama administration's 2010 budget go on sale Thursday."]

Josh Gerstein
Politico.com

In mounting an aggressive push toward universal health care, President Barack Obama is exposing one of the central ironies of offering insurance to all: The states most likely to profit are the ones that voted against him last November and whose congressional leaders are least likely to support it.

Red states across the South, which now offer limited benefits to low-income residents, stand to receive billions of dollars to cover large populations of uninsured citizens. Blue states in the North and Midwest, which are wealthier and already offer insurance to many, are likely to take a financial hit.

Obama may have been alluding to some of those divides when he predicted that geography could play a major role in the coming health care fight.

Read More...

March 11th, 2009
09:20 AM ET

Alabama shootings timeline

Anderson Cooper talks with a spokesman for the Alabama State Troopers as he discusses the shooting spree.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Gun Violence
March 11th, 2009
09:00 AM ET

Tent cities, street families, homeless kids ….

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/03/10/homeless.children/art.homeless.gi.jpg caption="The National Center on Family Homelessness estimates more than 1.5 million children are without a home."]

Jay Bookman
The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Out in Sacramento, a “tent city” of up to 1,200 homeless people, many of them newly on the streets, has popped up in the exact site of a “Hooverville,” or tent city, during the Great Depression. A similar tent city in Pinellas County, Fla., also reports rapid growth.

“We have a lot of folks that do construction, a lot of folks that are cooks and waiters and waitresses that can’t find jobs and if they find jobs they’re only part time, and it’s difficult for them,” said Sheila Lopez, director of Pinellas Hope. “They need fulltime regular jobs.”
Meanwhile, Time Magazine reports growing numbers of homeless families with children.


Filed under: Economy • Housing Market
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